FAQ

* What inspired you to write this story?

My book is an exploration of my cultural roots and I wanted to share with the reader the importance of honoring the multi-faceted aspect of one’s identity. I write about how I integrated my multi-cultural past- -my African roots. Although, I grew up in the U.S. Argentina, was my birthplace, and in more recent times there has been an awakening of black consciousness. My parent’s generation and earlier generations denied their African roots and felt a collective sense of shame because they bought into the rhetoric of the white majority that said, “There are no blacks in Argentina.” I grew up not knowing how I was, as I descended from two persecuted groups- the Mapuche indigenous group and the African slaves, but my family only acknowledged our European side, the Basques. As a result, I realized I was not a whole person until I researched my true roots. Since then I’ve been happier and more free of anxiety. I know there are others who have gone through a similar experience, or a searching for answers.

* What issues in today’s society have you addressed in the book?

I address identity politics and the awakening of black consciousness in Argentina. My book also addresses the importance of self-acceptance, and how individuals can effect healing within themselves. “I’ve read extensively about the process of healing ancestral wounds. Since my roots derived from two ancestral groups in Argentina, the Mapuche Tehuelche and the African slaves, who were both persecuted and segregated throughout the history of Argentina, I sensed I needed healing to transform my life. Argentina, my birthplace is a country which has used forced assimilation. There were attempts throughout history to create a society more “ethnically homogeneous.” My parents were controlled by these ideas, and it was not till I was 41, after I married my husband, Mason who is African- American that I began to explore my African roots with his encouragement. Since that period of time, I’ve worked to embrace my Afro- Indian identity, and at the same time, moving away from Western ideas about spirituality. This process of exploration and integration of one’s ancestral roots, rather than denial is vital in order to become a whole person.”

* What is your most valuable lesson about the publishing industry?

I recently attended Book Expo America in New York and had the opportunity to talk with many, many authors and publishers. I’ve learned that authors have incredible book marketing tools at their disposal like never before. There is such an interest in reading and downloading books on digital devices such as the Kindle and the newly released Kobo- which introduces authors to a whole world of new readers they otherwise might not have access to. Authors are now taking more control of their books and writing particularly with the advent of print on demand publishing. Although not all major media outlets will review or interview authors of self-published books today, I think this attitude will eventually change.

* What writers inspire you and why?
I love the work of the French author, Marguerite Duras. Her narratives are quite innovative and have lyrical elements which I love. Julio Cortazar is another writer whose writing is magical. His novel Hopscotch is structured in such a way that you could actually start reading the book from the middle and still capture the essence of the plot. That is the way he intended the experience to be for the reader and I think he succeeded. Virginia Woolf has also been an inspiration in the sense that her creative process was so unique, and I love how she used stream of consciousness in Mrs. Dalloway.

* What did you hope to accomplish by writing this particular story?

I wanted to make readers aware of the importance of understanding who they truly are within themselves. If one denies one’s ancestral roots only fear and anxiety can result because you are like a lost soul. But if you embrace your ancestral roots even your ancestors become like your guardians rather than strangers. In my book I cite authors Michael Tlanusta and Michael P. Wibur: “Acceptance is a very important part of living in harmony and balance in a worldview that emphasizes has a reason for being.”

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